One of my favorite activities to do in any city, alongside visiting museums and sampling the local cuisine, is sniffing out mix CDs. Mexico City is awash in street markets, and practically any street market anywhere you go will have at least one vendor plying idiosyncratic sounds (this is true of D.C. too, but I have yet to do a go-go post. Maybe when I get back). Yesterday I took a long-planned trip through the market at the eastern end of the more upscale Avenido Obregon flea market for this very end.
The more upscale market had what appeared to be legit CDs, lots of new age stuff, to appeal to the clientele mas fresa. At the end, the market takes a turn away from antiques and arts&crafts towards the more mundane and quotidian: baby clothes, produce and meat, street food, and yes, bootleg movies and music. However, most of the bootleg stands simply provide standard popular music at a cheaper scale — MP3 CDs stocked with a chunk of the Nine Inch Nails catalog, copies of Shakira CDs, and tons and tons of compilations of 80s hits (corporate pop of the 1980s exercises an astounding hegemony over the world’s musical consciousness). In short, more major label Anglo pop and rock than anything, along with a lot of corporate Latin pop.
I finally found what I was looking for: the mixtape booth. Using a DVD player hooked up to an amp, a guy was playing samples of various mixes with homemade white paper sleeves to a couple prospective buyers. I sidled up and scoped out the CDs — mixes ranging from 80s pop to 90s alt rock to duranguense and even some Chicago house. The proprietor/DJ was trying to find mixes to appeal to a young woman with a handful of trance mixes, and it wasn’t long before I heard what I wanted. The CD started with a bewildering montage of Proyecto Uno hits before moving into terrain just as manic.”Latino Mix” was the name.
After he had served his other customers I told him I wanted the CD that had the “no pare, sigue sigue” on it. He actually wanted to make sure I wanted that one, telling me that the mix is more for exercise because it’s too fast for parties, and attempting to steer me to some disco mixes. He’s probably right — this is a manic trip through a lot of Latin tribal house, deconstructed cumbia elements, tropical polyrhythms (bubbling fans should find a lot to love here), and pitched-up banda. It’s actually quite expertly done, and I’m putting it up for your enjoyment. I left off the last eight tracks, which are actually a different mix of more commercial trance sounds.
Latino Mix D.F. (55.72 MB – 19 tracks – 40:30 min)
No tracklisting por supuesto, but if your knowledge runs deeper than mine, do help in the IDs. In particular, Track 13 is a synthy slice of carnival that I’ve heard many times on D.C.’s tropical station that I would love to know the name of.